#10. The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat...Counting Down

Monday, December 27, 2004

Dew Breaker Posted by Hello

Edwidge Dantica's makes the top ten with the Dew Breaker:

From the Book Jacket:

From the universally acclaimed author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, a brilliant, deeply moving work of fiction that explores the world of a "dew breaker"—a torturer—a man whose brutal crimes in the country of his birth lie hidden beneath his new American reality.

We meet him late in his life. He is a quiet man, a husband and father, a hardworking barber, a kindly landlord to the men who live in a basement apartment in his home. He is a fixture in his Brooklyn neighborhood, recognizable by the terrifying scar on his face. As the book unfolds, moving seamlessly between Haiti in the 1960s and New York City today, we enter the lives of those around him: his devoted wife and rebellious daughter; his sometimes unsuspecting, sometimes apprehensive neighbors, tenants, and clients. And we meet some of his victims...

The Dew Breaker is a book of interconnected lives—a book of love, remorse, and hope; of rebellions both personal and political; of the compromises we often make in order to move beyond the most intimate brushes with history. Unforgettable, deeply resonant, The Dew Breaker proves once more that in Edwidge Danticat we have a major American writer.

The Dew Breaker an excerpt

This book is so great, because it tells a chilling tale of physical and mental torture. We learn more about Haiti and the lives of Haitian immigrants in America. Their struggle to assimilate to a new culture and forget their past no matter how horrific it was. The novel was setup more like a series of short stories instead of the traditional novel structure, which would have made the story a greater need as we felt a continuous peak and valley moving us to the most horrible moment of Ka's father's life. I wanted to drop with him and that didn't happen because of the structure of this book. Moreover, the pacing slowed the story down in places where it didn't need to be. Nonetheless, this book is one of the most well written books I have read ever. I look forward to more of her work.

2009 ·Dee Stewart by TNB